Classic clashes in FAI Junior Cup

Soccer: Mayo League

Ballyheane maintained their remarkable run in all competitions as they reached the third round of the FAI Junior Cup with a 4-1 win over a Ballina Town side that had won nine games in a row in all competitions going into this game.

Ballyheane were much more proficient in front of goal and had a two-goal lead at half time. Ballina did pull a goal back just after the break thanks to substitute Dylan McKee but Ballyheane finished the stronger and added two more goals to secure a third round tie with Conn Rangers. Nathan Reilly Doyle hit a brace for Ashley Stevenson’s side while Ben Edeh and Alan McHale got the other goals.

Conn Rangers produced the shock of the round as they held off a fightback from Manulla to seal a 3-2 win at Mount Falcon on Sunday morning. Rangers' recent troubles in front of goal had seen them slip into the relegation places in the Premier Division but they had no such problems on the day as they put three past Manulla before Declan Kilkelly’s side got back into the game to set up an exciting finish.

Evan Reape scored a first half double and Mark Butler added the third on fifty-five minutes but Manulla pulled a goal back almost immediately and Ruairi Henry added a second from the penalty spot but Nigel Reape’s side held firm to secure a deserved victory.

Westport United had to come back from two goals down to make it through to Round 3 with a 4-3 win over Paul Burke’s Claremorris side at United Park on Sunday morning.

After forty minutes it looked like Westport’s FAI cup run would come to an early end as Claremorris led 2-0 thanks to goals from Mark Maloney and Caolan Walsh, but Mikey O’Brien’s strike before half-time gave Westport United the momentum going into the second half. Westport looked like a different team in the second half and were level after less than ninety seconds as Jamie McGrath’s shot across goal looked like it was deflected in off a Claremorris defender.

Twelve minutes later and Westport hit the front for the first time as McGrath headed in a right-wing cross from the impressive O’Brien. Dylan O’Malley got his side’s fourth goal midway through the half and despite Claremorris pulling a late goal back through Ryan McLoughlin, it was Mickey Feeney’s side that made it through to Round 3.

Swinford were the final side to progress to the next round as they were much too strong for League Two side Ballinrobe Town at The Green where they recorded a 4-1 win. Swinford went in a goal up at half-time thanks to a good run and finish from James Devaney on twenty-five minutes.

Martin Murphy doubled their lead with an excellent first-time finish after Paddy O’Donnell set him up. Ballinrobe pulled a goal back on sixty-five minutes after a mix-up in the Swinford defence but Devaney got a crucial third goal as he broke away to finish on seventy five minutes. Ian Price rounded off the scoring as he headed in a left wing cross from Devaney to ensure Swinford set up a third round clash with Westport United in a few weeks’ time.

United B claim Tuohy Cup

Westport United B were crowned the Tuohy Cup Champions for 2021 as they came from a goal down to record a 2-1 win over Iorras Aontaithe.

After a goal-less first half where both sides cancelled each other out, it was Iorras that took the lead on fifty-seven minutes as Kyle O’Reilly made no mistake from the spot after Niall Quinn was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

Westport had introduced Cian Gill to the fray at this stage and it was the substitution that would make a big difference as he levelled the scores just seven minutes later as he beat three men inside the Iorras area before firing the ball under the keeper Kian Gallagher and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

It was another substitute, Joe Sweet, that played a key roll in what turned out to be the winning goal, which arrived just three minutes later as the right-back dinked a ball over the top and into the path of Dylan Duane and the youngster made no mistake as he hit the ball on the half volley, leaving Gallagher with no chance in the Iorras goal.

Iorras piled forward in the closing minutes but rarely threatened Micheal Gibbons in the Westport goal and Joe Kelly’s side held on to win their first piece of silverware of the season.

Masters League gets start date

The Mayo League Masters League will commence on Wednesday, November 10. For the first week they will play six matches on Wednesday, November 10 and six matches on Friday, November 12, due to the fact the Ireland v Portugal match is on Thursday, November 11.

The fixtures will then revert to Wednesday and Thursday each week up to Thursday, December 16. Matches on each night will kick off at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. The FAInet portal is now open for registrations. All players must be registered, there is no charge for players already registered in the league, there is a €5 charge for new players.


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